Today I am sharing Psalm 37:23-24. I chose the New Century Version in particular because of the beautiful translation of the last part: “If they stumble, they will not fall, because the Lord holds their hand.” It is comforting to know that no matter what you are going through, the Lord will always be there for us… like a loving Parent holding on to their child’s hand.
I was so excited about launching a new short series on Hospitality earlier this week that I was woefully unprepared for the arrival of Thursday. It seemed to sneak up on me when I wasn’t looking. Then, like a playful friend, it placed its hands on my eyes and asked: “Guess who? It’s Thursday! Time for His Encouragement for Your Thursday!”
The Scriptures remind us repeated that God knows our hearts. He knows our needs, our thoughts, our tendencies, our habits, our strengths, our weaknesses. He knows our circumstances even better than we do. We can only see the here and now, but God sees the beginning and the end and everything in-between.
With only a few days left in the month of December, one year is ending and another is beginning. For many, this is the time for reflection and resolution. Whether your 2018 was amazing or terrible, filled with joy or sorrow, or a mixture of all of these, let us remember to always seek out the Lord’s blessings in our lives. That is why, as we close out 2018 and look forward to 2019, I pray that we all resolve to take Colossians 3:12-13 to heart. “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…”
One of the most powerful yet subtle ways that the Lord moves in our lives is through people. Today’s verse is from 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and reads: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
As I was contemplating what to share today, I was reminded of this little verse in Mathew 14:14. It is often overlooked because it immediately presides one of the great miracles of the Gospels: when Jesus feed five thousand people with two fish and five loaves of bread. But I want to focus on Mathew 14:14 today.
Today is November 1st, and as is my custom, I try to spend the entire month in a special spirit of thankfulness. We should be grateful all year long, but it is not uncommon throughout the world and human history for people to recognize a time of special thankfulness, usually around harvest time. In Biblical times, two of the major feasts outlined in Scripture were specifically connected with harvest and showing gratitude to the Lord for His blessings.
I am a planner. I like to have a general direction determined, an end goal in mind, and actionable steps to reach it. This is the type of person I am, and I feel overwhelmed and stressed when I cannot meet my own expectations, complete the tasks I set for myself, or reach my end goal. However, sometimes life gets in the way of our carefully laid plans. An unexpected automotive expense, a life-changing medical diagnosis, whatever it may be, Murphy’s law seems to apply especially to plans. I learned a long time ago that even though I am a planner, I need to be flexible. The tree that bends and sways in the wind of change is less likely to snap under pressure or be blown completely over — roots and all.
Relying only on God means fully, completely leaning on His strength no matter the situation, no matter the cost, no matter the end. Yes, even unto death. For this world is not our home, and there is something far greater in store. May every deed we do, every word we say — even in the midst of our greatest trials and deepest sorrows — point to the love of the Lord Jesus so that others will see His light shining through us and learn to love Him, too. Friend, that is our purpose and our privilege. To love God with all of our hearts, souls, strength and mind and, because He first loved us, show this love with all of those we meet. (Matthew 22:36-20) May we be able to sing His praises always. Glory to the Father! Glory to the Son! And to the blessed Spirit!
While the child struggled for life, King David pleaded for mercy and healing. He fasted, he prayed, he wept, he laid prostrate on the ground, he refused any form of comfort for seven long, agonizing days. When word of the baby’s death reached David, he rose, washed, worshiped at the Tabernacle, and then returned to normal life activities. Sometimes we read this part and wonder, as his own servants did, how is it that David wrestled with the Lord so deeply while the child still lived but the moment the child passed, he seems to have moved on? I can now say that I understand David like I never have before.